Online Master's Degree Programs Are A Great Option For International Students

The United States has appeal beyond being a democracy and its reputation as being the land of opportunity. Even with the economy in a slump, America has hosted more international undergraduate students than any other nation. Now, a new study shows that first-time international graduate student enrollment is on the rise again as well.

According to the study from the Council of Graduate Schools, student enrollment among international students attending graduate schools for the first time increased by 3 percent between the fall of 2009 and the fall of 2010. Most of the increase was seen among international grad school students from China and the Middle East, an announcement from the organization noted.

The 2010 increase came after a Council of Graduate Schools survey last year showed international student enrollment numbers were relatively flat, an announcement from the organization noted. While enrollment among first-time international graduate students increased over the past year, the organization notes, the overall increase among international student enrollment in grad schools was the smallest since 2006. This has to do with the fact that different degree programs take different lengths of time to complete, according to the Council of Graduate Schools.

The Council of Graduate Schools is a member-based organization that works to advance education at the graduate level and to encourage a demanding learning environment within graduate schools. Graduate programs in the United States are different than those overseas in that they combine research and classroom work and that students are evaluated based on classroom participation, exams and papers. Graduate students in the United States can study at government-funded public universities and they are typically more pricey, private universities, some of which are religious.

Grad students in the United States typically attend school for nine months out of the year, during spring and fall semesters. They accumulate academic credits for their work.

Information from the Council from 2009 shows that, while the number of graduate students increased by 4 percent from 2008, offers of admission dropped by 3 percent. The number of students from India and South Korea who have been applying to grad schools in the United States has been on the decline.

International students can also take part in online degree programs offered by grad schools. The website for one university in upstate New York contends that distance learning provides graduate school students opportunities to participate in classes that might otherwise be unavailable to them because of their location. With online degree programs, students participate in coursework from wherever they have Internet access and whenever they schedule their studies.